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Aug 6, 2014 03:04 PM

Han Dynasty, University City

I can't do very spicy, but finally got to have lunch at 3711 Market St. Lamb with scallions and onions in oyster sauce
was excellent. Something like $10.50 on the lunch menu.
It was very tasty, but not spicy at all, so I added Chinese mustard. Next time I'll try a 'mild' rating of 3 on a dish, but ask them to tone it down a bit.

Tip for others: for dinner, after 4pm on weekdays, they offer
free parking in the garage that can be reached from Filbert St
in the back. But, don't park there without getting the free parking offer, as it would be an expensive $21 for a short visit.
(I got discounted parking due to a physical therapy appointment
in the building next door)

Hubby and I will try this for dinner some weeknight. He really
likes spicy. Interesting soups and apps on the menu.

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  1. I'm a neophyte to Szechuan cuisine. I had trouble navigating Han's menu online, although it looks extremely intriguing.

    Are all the fish entrees fried? When I looked online, they always looked breaded and/or wok fried. I'm not a big fried-food guy, but definitely want to partake of some Han cuisine. Some of the soups look promising...

    8 Replies
    1. re: dndicicco

      My experience is that the fish in the fish dishes is deep fried.

      Like others on here, at least among those who like HD, I find the University City location the most consistent in quality. Spice levels are definitely all over the place, and increasingly milder than I would like. Lunch prices are lower, but so are the lunch portions. Usually with dinner, I get enough for leftovers the next day.

      1. re: lowereastrittenhouse

        What fish dishes have you had there LER? I think I have only had fish dishes in the context of their large tasting menu, and my impression is that it was done in a wok, but my recollection might be fuzzy. Do you consider cooking in a wok to be deep frying?

        I am trying to see from the menu what entree/sauce combination would be deep fried, as opposed to cooked in a hot wok, again this is out of ignorance, not doubting anyone's experience.

        1. re: cwdonald

          I've had the Dry Pepper, Pickled Chili, and Black Bean preparations.

          As for cooking in a wok, I guess you could stir fry or deep fry in a wok, but I presume you mean the former? My understanding is that the fish in HD dishes is flash fried before stir-fried or added to more liquid sauce.

      2. re: dndicicco

        The Dry Pot Style fish is NOT deep-fried, and it is by far one of my favorite dishes on the menu. It has a very similar flavor profile to one of the deep-fried fish dishes (Dry Pepper Style?). Fantastic!

        1. re: dndicicco

          <I had trouble navigating Han's menu online>

          That's odd. Its menu was re-designed from the classic Chinese menu to make it easier to navigate.

          <they always looked breaded and/or wok fried>

          I think most are fried. Maybe some are deep fried and maybe some are flash-fried, but they should be all fried at one point.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            Very helpful all! My original post was poorly articulated. The website is easy to navigate, but I was unclear on how things such as the fish was cooked. It seems everything is fried, but not deep fried (which to me means a double dip and batter).

            1. re: dndicicco

              Talking to several Chinese restaurant owners, it seems that many classic dishes have been transformed to frying at the restaurant setting to save time and to provide taste. For example, the Chinese green onion (scallion) pan cakes are traditionally pan fried, and look like this:


              However, many restaurants now are deep frying them. You can see them being slightly more oily looking and puffed up (e.g. Dim Sum Garden in Philly Chinatown):


              The "Water Boiled Fish" is a famous Szechuan dish was done much like a stew. (fish filet cooked in sauce). Now, it seems to me that some restaurant flash fried the filet and then put them into the sauce.

              Come to think of it, the last time I was at Han Dynasty, their green onion pancake was pan fried.

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                Extremely helpful! That water-boiled fish is exactly what I was seeking, although it slipped my mind. I had watched some bizarre eats or similar low-brow program recently, but I was really entertained about the Szechuan cuisine and its fish soups.

        2. I'm pretty much a neophyte myself. Given the relatively large price difference between lunch and dinner, maybe good
          to experiment a bit at lunch? Also, why not call them and ask your question about fried fish?

          Next time I go, I will venture further afield. Waitress was very accommodating about my need to keep the spice quotient down.

          All I can report is that the dish I ordered: lamb with scallions and onions in oyster sauce was not greasy, meat not tough, several cuts above in quality and flavor from other times I have
          ordered this dish elsewhere.